word craft


Catching a Book by Surprise

surpriseOne of the things I have learned to do is—in my own jargon—catch my writ­ing by surprise.

That is to say, I arbi­trar­i­ly open a com­plet­ed man­u­script, and start read­ing a para­graph, a page, and try to expe­ri­ence it as an inde­pen­dent enti­ty. Quite often I catch small things, tiny things, that when altered, make for a bet­ter read­ing. It may be word choice, it might be rhythm, it might (and often is) word rep­e­ti­tion, or sim­ply cut­ting. Of course, any pas­sage, and or page, is part of the whole, but every page, para­graph, sen­tence, and dare I say, each word, needs to have an aes­thet­ic integri­ty of its own. A book’s sum sure­ly is greater than its con­stituent parts, but the parts need to be noticed, too. And noth­ing is bet­ter than a beau­ti­ful­ly ren­dered sen­tence, para­graph, page … 

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